On 2 – 5 November, Growing Families is running its last Australian seminar series for the year, to give insights from surrogacy experts from around the globe, as well as surrogates, recent parents and older children’s own reflections.
Increasingly we are seeing intended parents frustrated by the mountains of conflicting information they find online. There can also be angst when those seeking family naively decide to follow the pathway of someone else they know, without understanding every surrogacy journey is different and the quality of service providers and surrogate availability can change dramatically within a short space of time.
From an ethical view, it’s vital to understand egg donor surrogacy from the perspective of surrogates and donors themselves, as well as the views of older children born via surrogacy. How do teenagers feel about having one or two gay dads as fathers? How do they deal with such issues at school? Are they concerned about not having a mum? Do they have a relationship with their surrogate? The kids of gay dads in Perth will address these issues.
Surrogacy pathways which have survived the test of time and a changeable landscape include the US, Canada and more recently Australia. However, that’s not to say these routes are easy. There can be significant challenges with each, which unless you are prepared for, can cause much heartache.
For gay singles and couples, newer surrogacy destinations such as Colombia and Argentina are proving increasingly popular and our November series will feature parents who recently engaged in both of these countries sharing insights in regard to their journeys.
Andy Leonard is one such dad who will be talking at both the Sydney and Melbourne events. A single dad, Andy is a father to a son Orlando born via Canadian surrogacy and a daughter, Frida, born recently via the Argentine process. Each country has important differences in regard to wait times, surrogate contact and exit times at the end of the process, so Andy’s insights are valuable.
Cameron Green and his husband, Fernando are currently on a surrogacy journey in Canada. After a few false starts, they matched with their surrogate, Ashley, early this year and are expecting a son in February. Cameron will share his experience at the Sydney seminar.
On top of the practicalities, there remain important issues to address to protect the rights of surrogates, children and intended parents here in Australia. The ACT is currently keen to undertake a review of its surrogacy legislation and a coalition of interest groups, including Growing Families, Surrogacy Australia, Rainbow Families and Equality Australia are working together to spearhead reforms in areas such as recognition of parentage.
Details of Growing Families November seminars are here. There will be similar seminars in Perth on 2 November and Melbourne on 5 November.